Stowe High School Principal Gretchen Muller has been tapped to lead Camels Hump Middle School in Richmond next year.
Muller, who was hired as an interim principal near the end of the 2018-2019 school year, is halfway through her second year at the helm at Stowe. The Mount Mansfield Unified Union School District, to which Camels Hump belongs, approved Muller’s hiring at its board meeting Monday night.
Muller did not reply to a request for comment before deadline, but Lamoille South superintendent Tracy Wrend said Muller will finish out the school year at Stowe and is “committed to supporting a transition to a new principal.”
“I am really sad to see her go,” Wrend said. “I think she has a tremendous amount of potential to be a strong leader.”
Wrend said Muller lives in, and has a lot of connections within, the Mount Mansfield Unified Union School District, which serves the towns of Bolton, Huntington, Jericho, Richmond and Underhill. There are five elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school in the district.
Wrend said she was grateful that the district completed its hiring process so early in the year. She said January is typically a good time to put out job advertisements for new staff, when more people are starting to make plans for the following school year.
Often, as summer approaches, the pool of job applicants dries up. Stowe was fortunate to hire Muller as an interim in 2017 when her predecessor at Stowe High School, Chris Oleks, resigned abruptly that April.
“I appreciate their early process,” Wrend said. “It is super respectful to fellow districts who lose their principals.”
The Lamoille South board met Tuesday to go into executive session and discuss “the appointment or employment or evaluation of a public officer or employee,” but Wrend declined to say what was being discussed in the closed-door session.
On Monday she did not say when she heard about Muller’s selection as the next Camels Hump principal, but she had not told the school board yet.
Wrend expects the board will discuss initial steps on replacing Muller at its Jan. 5 meeting.
Mount Mansfield school district superintendent John Alberghini did not respond to a request for comment by press deadline, but his office sent a statement acknowledging the selection of Muller as principal and welcoming her aboard. The district also announced the hiring of a new principal at Jericho Elementary School, Darik Williams, who is currently principal at a school in Brazil.
Muller came to Stowe from the Burlington school district, where she was a science teacher, “teacher-leader,” Rowland Fellow, and co-coordinator of the YES Program.
Stowe High School has had three principals in the past five academic years. Before Muller and her predecessor Oleks, Jeff Maher was Stowe High’s principal for a decade.